May 18th, 2012 | By | Category: Senior Travel

Sitka Invites Seniors to Visit

Yes, Sitka, Alaska is way up north. In Sitka you will find the natural splendor of the city  along with its diverse history and cultural heritage make the town a great place for seniors to visit and to go exploring. Some of Sitka’s key attractions are listed here and more are listed on the Sitka Convention & Visitors Bureau web site. Today Sitka sees itself as both the cultural center of the Southeast and its most beautiful city, because it’s the only one facing the Pacific Ocean.

Fourth Largest City in Alaska

With a population of around 9,000, Sitka is the fourth-largest city by population in Alaska. The current name “Sitka” means “People on the Outside of Shee.” Sitka is said to be the most beautiful of southeast Alaska cities. Nestled on the west side of Baranof Island, it is flanked on the east by majestic snow-capped mountains, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. The climate is mild, and they get more than a fair share of “liquid sunshine”. The most valuable natural resource is, without a doubt, the people of Sitka, who share a pride in their home and a love of life in all its small-town splendor. WebCams are always neat and the one for Sitka is no exception. Scenic beauty abounds and the locals find Sitka a great place to call home.  I have heard that when folks move to Alaska, they just don’t want to ever leave.  A vacation to Sitka would be one great reason to want to stay there even longer.

Fishing is Big Here

Accommodations flourish here and there are many fishing and wildlife tours for seniors to consider.  Vacation rentals also are in abundance. Check out Sitka for it’s Four Seasons.  If you a “mapaholic” like me, the Downtown Walking Tour map and location in Alaska are neat. Sitka has its share of historical sites and the local Historical Museum will fill you in on more history and exhibits, photos, artifacts and archives. Watch a video on commercial herring fishing from the air with dozens of boats all encircling to trap and net the fish. Its a wonder they don’t run into each other.

Things to See and Do in Sitka

I am a great fan of World Heritage Sites in all the 192 countries in the world and for me the National  Register of Historical Places come in a close second.  Sitka County has its share. The listing of Things to See and Do is long and adventuresome. Seniors will find plenty to do including a hiking trail, taking in a National Historical Park and visiting a neat aquarium. Although first inhabited by Native Tlingit Indians, Sitka is recognized as the heart of the Russian influence in the Inside Passage.

Russia Sells Alaska to America in 1867

The official transfer ceremony was held in Sitka. Russians established Southeast Alaska’s first non-indigenous settlement in 1799, and the town flourished on fur.  Today Sitka’s Russian history is interesting and well preserved. Renting a car might be a great means to getting around if you are not in for a tour. Take a short tour of Downtown Sitka. Like Juneau (an awesome link here), the heart of Sitka is a compact downtown area that is centered on the cathedral. A few blocks to the east is Crescent Harbor which bustles with waterfront activities such as charter and commercial fishing, fishermen repairing their nets and marine wildlife, kayak, ocean raft and semi-submersible tours. A few blocks to the west is Katlian Street, where Sitka’s commercial fishing district is active.

Lodging, Hotels and Motels

I have selected a great Alaska Fishing Lodge for you to check out so plan on bringing in some super salmon and halibut during your vacation in Sitka. Wild Strawberry Lodge looks like a great place to check out. Some of the lodges offer a fly-over of Sitka and that would certainly make for a memorable scene. Do check out some of the other fine lodges and  B&Bs for a super stay in Sitka. Vacation rentals are also in abundance.

Getting to Sitka

Sitka is a common stop on cruise routes and a regular stop along the Alaska Marine Highway System. Alaska Airlines also operates flights from Seattle and other Pacific Coast and southwestern cities to Sitka. The best way to see the town’s sights is on foot.  Frommers will also help you not only get there but keep you well occupied with things to see and do once you arrive. Should be a great adventuresome trip seniors. Enjoy and listen to Johnny Horton sing North to Alaska. jeb

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